Some History on Homelessness

Seeing Depression as a Deep Emotional Awakening

The way that depression is experienced is influenced by the way that it is defined. For many, depression is considered a static state. Depression is on or depression is off.  Sometimes this may be true, but often, depression is more like a dimmer light switch.  Depression is slowly turned on and is slowly turned back off.  The way that we related to it when it is slightly on is different than the relating that happens when it is at full throttle.  

When depression knocks on the door of life, it is time to adjust the way that we are living. It can begin as a slight numbness.  In fact, if one is not living in a daily relationship with their emotional world, depression may stealthily slip in unnoticed.  If depression is notice at an early stage, actions may be taken to enliven the spirit.  If the early beckoning goes unnoticed, depression will begin to call our names louder, like a mother from the 80s calling a child home to the porch from a neighborhood bike ride.  Depression will make sure that you have heard its call.  Until responded to, it will continue deepen its hold until you are listening.

Being hunted by depression is painful and exhausting - the running and hiding, only to inevitably surrender. Depression simply wants to offer you an opportunity to evolve in life.  In the same way that depression can slowly set in, it is often a slow process to find relief from depression.  It involves taking daily actions that allow the healing process to begin.  It is the daily consistency of these actions that moves you back out of depression.  The consistent, daily practices needed to produce freedom from depression cultivates one of depression’s greatest gifts, patience. With the expansion of patience, you become a person who perseveres. As patience, perseverance and daily mindfulness through practices are integrated in you, you have a heightened awareness the next time the fog of numbness rolls in. Although you have momentarily lost your sense of sight in this fog, you trust the strength of your other senses to guide you through it as you take immediate action.

Another potential outcome that a journey with depression fosters is the determination to live more attuned to your daily emotional state.  It can begin by simply pausing several times a day and asking the internal self: what do I feel? What do I need? These questions will amend the conditions that beckon depression.  

 

If you are struggling with addiction, alcoholism, and/or mental health, know that there is hope. There is a solution. Harmoniously fusing together the best elements of clinical care, holistic healing, and 12-step philosophy, Enlightened Solutions has created a program of total transformation for men and women seeking recovery. Call 833-801-5483 today for information on our partial care programs in New Jersey.


The Gift of Sobriety

The Gift of Sobriety

When an alcoholic admits there is a problem, there may be an initial grieving period. Alcohol and drugs and had become a friends, confidants, and now must be taken away. As time goes on that same now recovering alcoholic might have a completely different outlook on the day they quit drinking. If an addict had reached a point of unbearable destruction in all areas in life, sobriety might be the only option. Becoming sober for the sake of a job or parents, children, boyfriends/girlfriends, and so on, doesn’t work the same as it does when the addict quits for themselves. If the alcoholic truly wants sobriety, they will be willing to do whatever it takes. Although this might seem like a daunting task, the rewards are immeasurable to anything else.

The slogan “we will love you until you love yourself” is meant for those who come into recovery with sadness and despair. Many addicts have found themselves with a variety of disorders that must now be addressed. Those with depression and anxiety will find themselves possibly growing out these as their sobriety strengthens. Those with disorders on the higher end of the spectrum will have to accept that sobriety means complying with a psychiatric diagnosis. Taking medication is just as important to staying sober, as it is to quit drinking and/or using. Often times the alcoholic will drink if they stop taking prescribed medication or if the addict decides to drink, they will likewise stop the medication. Dual-diagnosis is common and should always be taken seriously.

Once the treatment team, the alcoholics support, and the alcoholic are on the same page, the alcoholic’s journey can begin. The addict who shows complete cooperation and stays open-minded will benefit the most out of treatment. The addict that wants to live bad enough will put sobriety first. It must be well aware that the disease of addiction will kill anyone in its path. Choosing sobriety is choosing to live, choosing to be a mother or father, choosing to serve others in ways that would never happen if the addiction continued. Life is a gift, and life is beautiful. While in the disease, it’s easy to become pessimistic about all aspects of life and that is a miserable existence. The gift of sobriety is special, and those who see this, become grateful to be an addict in recovery. If there were no darkness there would no light.

Our clinical, holistic and 12 step approach at Enlightened Solutions gives addicts the opportunity to see their life in a new positive light. If you feel like you need to take your life back please don’t hesitate to call now: 833-801-5483.


Healing Alcoholism Heals the Whole Body

Healing Alcoholism Heals the Whole Body

The human body is an extraordinary network of systems that seamlessly work together to support life.  It is through the interdependencies of these systems that makes living possible for all humans.  Each system influences the health of others and when the health of one suffers, they all suffer. When alcohol is consumed addictively, the entire network of systems that make the human physical experience possible becomes toxic.  Yet, the same powerful systemic leverage becomes possible when an alcoholic chooses the health and vitality that is available through recovery.  

The process of restoration begins on the first day of recovery.  The body has innate wisdom to contend with environmental toxins.  During active alcoholism, the body is in an escalated state of toxin processing.  The resources necessary to mitigate the harm from alcohol takes away from the body’s ability to sustain vitality.  

The concept of cell death is key in healing from alcoholism.  The body has finite resources for processing material of all kinds.  When adding unnecessary material, especially of a toxic nature, all of the body’s cell matter is used at an accelerated rate.  The simple act of avoiding the ingestion of extraneous materials is supporting the body in its most optimal functioning.  

The liver and kidneys work together to detoxify the body.  They are designed to process naturally occurring environmental toxins.  When an alcoholic adds unnecessary toxins through excessive alcohol consumption, the body does not have capacity to deal with the cumulative toxins.   The simple act of reducing overall toxins empowers the body to eliminate more of the natural toxins, generating increased vitality for the entire system.  

When the liver and kidneys are restored, the body’s ability to adequately carry oxygen through the blood system is also restored.  This means that every cell in your body is breathing in a deeper, fuller way.  This is akin to a person realizing they have spent hours breathing short, shallow breaths.  Then, they choose to pause, close their eyes and take 10 full breaths.  They then experience physical, emotional and spiritual transformation through this deeper breathing.  The body of the recovering alcoholic experiences this same transformation.  

These are only a few examples of the interconnected systems and their capacity to heal through the cessation of alcohol consumption.  The body is inherently designed to heal itself and it is prepared to do this at any moment it is provided the opportunity.  

 

If you are struggling with addiction, alcoholism, and/or mental health, know that there is hope. There is a solution. Harmoniously fusing together the best elements of clinical care, holistic healing, and 12-step philosophy, Enlightened Solutions has created a program of total transformation for men and women seeking recovery. Call 833-801-5483 today for information on our partial care programs in New Jersey.


partial care program

What Are Some Ways Alcoholics Hide Their Alcoholism?

Alcoholics have to hide two things: their drinking and their alcoholism. Inherently, one protects the other.

They Refuse To Admit They Have A Problem

While they may not be doing the best job at hiding their drinking problem anymore, they are giving their denial every effort that they have. By refusing to acknowledge the truth, they can evade criticisms and accusations. Locking themselves further away from their loved ones and friends, they can continue to drink in spite of themselves. For those who have never experienced what is often called the “insanity” of alcoholism, it is difficult to understand this process. Chemical dependency upon alcohol changes the brain’s ability to make good judgments and choices based on consequences. Alcoholism is essentially a non-consequential mental health disorder for those who have it- meaning that they have a constitutional inability to see the consequences of their actions- or at least to feel that any negative consequences outweighs the benefit of consuming more alcohol. Alcoholism in the brain causes a restructuring which results in alcohol being prioritized over everything else.

Friends & Family Are Often Enablers

Codependency is a term which was born out of alcoholism treatment. Therapists were confounded by the way that so many family members and spouses of alcoholics enabled their loved one’s drinking and using. Alcoholism is commonly referred to as a family disease, meaning that the entire family is effected with a “sickness” when their loved one falls “ill” to alcoholism. Out of concern for their loved one’s health, they continue to allow them to drink and even buy them alcohol. Enabling is just one characteristic of codependency. It can include harmful behaviors like covering for the alcoholic, paying for legal matters, buying alcohol, or even getting drunk with the alcoholic.

Environment Can Play A Part

Some environments are riddled with unspoken alcohol abuse. College campuses, for example, are infamous as being the headquarters for binge drinking and the early development of alcoholism. High stress work places can include a lot of alcohol, as can work places which encourage the sale and distribution of alcohol. Alcohol based industries, for example, thrive on consuming alcohol and convincing others it’s enjoyable. Often times there are many alcoholics fledgling in these environments who can cover it up by simply saying that everyone is doing it. While may people, even a majority of people, may be abusing alcohol, not everyone will become chemically dependent upon it.

Alcoholism can be healed. If you or a loved one are struggling to manage drinking, there is a solution. Our programs provide integrative care, bringing together holistic and clinically proven treatment methods with a twelve step foundation to provide total healing of mind, body, and spirit. Call us today for more information, at 833-801-5483.


art therapy

Which Comes First: Alcoholism Or Mental Health Disorders?

Alcoholism is a greater risk for those who are living with a preexisting mental health condition or those who have the genetic predisposition for one. Likewise, for those who are living with alcoholism, there is a greater risk of also developing a mental health disorder. Alcoholism by its technical name is alcohol use disorder, falling under the substance use disorder category. Widely, alcohol use disorder and other substance use disorders, called addictions, are mental health disorders of their own. When alcohol use disorder happens at the same time as another mental health disorder, it is referred to as dual diagnosis, or co-occurring disorders. For treatment and rehabilitation to be as successful and effective as possible it is necessary for treatment centers to make a full diagnosis of any existing mental health conditions in addition to substance use issues. Mistaking one issue for another is common. Discovering the source of each issue and treating it thoroughly is the best way to ensure long term recovery.

Alcoholism As A Result Of Mental Health Disorders

Abuse of alcohol is a common side effect of many mental health disorders, especially when they go untreated. Anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as some of the most common mental health disorders with a high rate of co-occurring alcoholism. Substance abuse spurs from mental health disorders like these for a number of reasons. First, some of these disorders come with a high likelihood of impulsivity. Impulsive decision making can lead to rash decisions and skewed senses of relations among peers. When substance abuse becomes an option, there is little functioning in the brain to prevent someone from making the decision. Consuming alcohol in large quantities will be of little consideration and as a result can lead to chemical dependency. Second, alcoholism can result as a way to cope with the difficult emotions of other mental health disorders. Living with severe emotional pain, unmanageable mood swings, or chronic irrational thoughts can become exhausting and overwhelming. Upon introduction to alcohol, there is a relief and sanctuary discovered in the euphoric effects of intoxication.

Mental Health Disorders As A Result Of Alcoholism

Alcohol abuse chemically alters essential neural networkings of the brain. Consequently, many of the processes used on a daily basis to regulate emotions, cognitive functions, and other important activities become shifted. Mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and paranoia can result from long term substance abuse.

Recovery from co-occurring alcoholism and mental health disorders is possible through integrative and enlightened treatment. Bringing together holistic recovery and proven treatment, the programs at Enlightened Solutions are designed to let recovery start with you. Call 833-801-5483 today for more information.


substance abuse addiction treatment new jersey

Using 12 Step Meetings For Recovery

Before there was a solution to the problem of alcoholism, there was no answer. People who had an uncontrollable relationship with alcohol were sent to hospitals and psychiatric wards. Doctors warned patients that their brains and livers would be damaged for good with one more drink or drug, yet patients did not listen. Around the country small groups were finding religious relief through simply programs of action that were helping them stay sober. The message of one such group found a man named Bill who had a spiritual experience. After discussing his experience, strength, and hope with a fellow struggling alcoholic, Bill and his new friend Bob, had an idea. That idea became Alcoholics Anonymous, the original 12 step program. Since the release of the primary text for the recovery group, The Big Book Of Alcoholics Anonymous, in 1939, millions of people have found a spiritual solution to alcoholism, all over the world.

Many people find sobriety through the rooms of AA or similar twelve step programs like Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, and Heroin Anonymous. For others, recovery programs are an essential supplement to their ongoing treatment and therapy. During treatment, you will likely be taken to multiple meetings of different kinds a week. In the meetings you can find a sponsor. Sponsors are meant to take a newcomer, someone with less than thirty days, through the twelve steps. After completing the twelve steps, you will then be in a position to sponsor someone else through the twelve steps.

Creating A Recovery Program Outside Of Treatment

When you graduate treatment you will either move to sober living or move on your own, which might include moving back home. Finding a new routine of twelve step meetings is easy to do with a few simple steps:

  • Research meetings online. All you have to do is do an internet search of “12 step meetings in ____” to find an online schedule
  • You can search for AA central in your area and call for a list of meetings nearby
  • Ask your AA central volunteer if they have ride shares in case you don’t have a way of getting to a meeting
  • Introduce yourself at a meeting and ask for phone numbers. New friends in recovery can take you to meetings, introduce you to new meetings, and support your recovery
  • Find a home meeting which you commit to attending every week
  • Get a new sponsor and work the twelve steps with them, call them every day, and check in with your daily inventory
  • Volunteer to a commitment at a meeting like being a secretary, a treasurer, or literature person

The spiritual solution of the twelve steps has worked for millions of people around the world. Enlightened Solutions adopts the twelve step philosophy as part of our integrative programs of treatment. For more information, call 833-801-5483.


Between The Extremes: Where Drinking Isn’t Alcoholism, But Still A Risk

Alcoholism either is or it isn’t. That’s how media portrayal and social stigmatization would have it. You’re either a wild and reckless drunk or you are a moderate drinker who likes to enjoy themselves on occasion. For the people in between the black and white ends of alcoholic-extremism, they are stuck in limbo. They’re unlikely to become moderate drinkers. They are likely to develop a more fatal version of alcoholism. Problematic drinking is problematic drinking, at any stage.

Without a clinical, cultural, or social focus on regular, extreme drinking, there is an air of justification in the middle. Because one isn’t an “alcoholics” or hasn’t “hit bottom” yet, their problem is not as desperate. However, their health, of both body and mind, continues to be compromised. Speaking about her new documentary Risky Drinking, on HBO, filmmaker Ellen Goosenberg Kent describes, “...what people don’t understand though, [was]the vast spectrum of drinking. Most people fall between having no problem and alcoholism…” That “middle spectrum”, she emphasizes is worth investigating.

Holding On

The popularized idea of somebody “hitting bottom” threatens millions of lives. For the majority of problematic drinkers who are not diagnosed alcoholics, they still have a lot they are holding onto. What society deems as functioning tends to perpetuate ongoing alcohol abuse. Most people who have problems with alcohol do not look like the stereotype alcoholic. Due to the stark comparison, even though there is a sliver of doubt in a drinker’s mind, it’s quickly assured by the fact: I’m not that bad.

If You Think You Might Be An Alcoholic, You Probably Are

“That bad” is extremely dangerous and problematic drinking for an alcoholic. It is not signification that alcoholism hasn’t developed yet, but that it already has. Breaking down the sentiment, a drinker already recognizes there is concern with their drinking, slyly admitting that their drinking is “bad”. Second of all, such a sentiment indicates that the topic of someone’s real or not real alcoholism has been a relatively recent topic of contemplation. Most persons in recovery from alcoholism and treatment professions alike commonly agree, if you have to question whether or not you’re an alcoholic, you probably have a drinking problem.

Though the world tells you differently, there is no shame in admitting you have a problem with alcohol. If you are concerned you might have a problem, call Enlightened Solutions today. We offer a spectrum of care options to treat a spectrum of alcoholism. For more information, call 833-801-5483.


intensive outpatient program

Alcoholism And The New Year

Sit in any meeting place of twelve step fellowships like Alcoholics Anonymous through the month of January and witness many birthday celebrations. January is a popular time to get sober. May people hit their bottom during the holiday season of December. What brings them to decide to make the decision on recovery is different. Some people have ruined one too many holiday celebrations with their families or missed them entirely. Some found themselves in the hospital or arrested due to drinking. Others realize that yet another year has gone by lost in the bottomless hole of addiction and alcoholism.

If you or a loved one are ready to seek treatment for alcoholism, Enlightened Solutions is available to guide your through the recovery process from detox to after care. Here are the steps to take if you are ready to make the ultimate new year's resolution to get- and learn how to stay- sober this year.

Medical Detox

Detox is not a requirement for recovery. The need for detox is dependent upon how much one has been drinking. Severe chemical dependency will result in symptoms of withdrawal. Detoxing from alcohol can be dangerous if done alone. In extreme cases, one develops delirium tremens which can result in hallucinations both tactile, auditory and visual. Sweats, seizures, vomiting, and more are common symptoms of detox from alcohol. At this time Enlightened Solutions does not provide detox services. However, we have close working relationships with many detox centers and can refer you while making your arrangements to attend treatment at our facility.

Residential Inpatient Treatment

If, even after detox, you or your loved one are not sure you can continue to live on your own without resuming to drink, you need residential inpatient treatment for alcoholism. Residential inpatient treatment offers a place to live while being securely monitored 24 hours a day by registered nurses and trained clinicians. Inpatient will include one on one therapy, holistic healing, and more. For 30-90 days, inpatient is a place to become stable before returning to independent living.

Ongoing Support

Treatment is multiphasic in order to encourage a step down transition into independent life after alcoholism. Following residential inpatient treatment can be partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, outpatient, and aftercare. Continuing to receive therapeutic and community support for alcoholism recovery is essential for helping create a lifestyle of sobriety.

Enlightened Solutions is ready to help you get sober today, and for a lifetime. For more information on treating alcoholism and why Enlightened Solutions is right for you, call 833-801-5483.


From Hopeless to Hopeful

You’re in the hospital, again. You’ve been arrested, again. You woke up somewhere without knowing where you are or how you got there, again. How does this keep happening? Didn’t you only mean to have just one drink? After so many times, it has stopped being a spectacle of entertainment. Nobody seems to be laughing anymore or considering your ‘crazy’ stories to be anything less than definitively insane. You find yourself with some startling thoughts. Thoughts which, once you start mindfully paying attention to them, feel familiar, as though you’ve considered their meaning many times; yet, at the same time, they feel incredibly foreign like a dress in a closet full of pant suits. These thoughts question whether or not you might have some kind of “problem”, if there is any chance for you to get help with this problem, or if there is any hope. When you touch on that word hope you feel your heart race, your stomach drop, and you can practically feel your pupils dilate as fear sets in.

 

What if there’s no hope for me?

 

The honest truth is this. There are likely many people in your life who are starting to have the same fear. Time after time, hope after hope, all dreams have fallen short of you finding recovery and getting sober. Learning that life can be lived without drugs or alcohol seems to be a lesson you just can’t pick up. Things are looking hopeless.

 

However, there is an even more honest truth to be told.

 

You are not hopeless.

In fact, your life is hopeful.

 

Indeed, there are many problems that come with being an addict or an alcoholic. Messes have been created and messes will have to be cleaned up both inside and outside. The fact that you are still here means hope for you has not been lost. Self-remorse, self-pity, shame, guilt, and all around self-centeredness are par for the course with addiction and alcoholism. Likely in this broken moment you are experiencing, you can’t see how you might be an exception to divine detention. You are. You really are.

 

Enlightened Solutions know that there is hope for you and great things ahead when you choose to get sober. We are here to help you every step of the way. It starts with you. So start with us. Call Enlightened Solutions today for more information on our treatment programs for addiction, alcoholism, and dual diagnosis issues. 833-801-5483.


intensive outpatient program

Where is the Sobriety?

Recovery is starting to make an appearance in mainstream media. Netflix series like Flaked and Love feature characters who attend twelve step meetings. ABC Family, now called Free Form, has a series called Recovery Road which features a high school aged teen put into sober living and forced to reconcile her alcoholism. The TV Show Mom highlights the ups and downs of recovery between a sober mother and daughter. Mom star Alison Janney is an advocate for addiction treatment and the fight against opiates.

Though recovery is starting to become “cool”, the mainstream media has always loved alcoholism more. Whether it’s a college party movie, a bachelor weekend movie, or a girls night out movie, mainstream media loves to binge drink. It isn’t just the movies either- books are equally to blame. Memoirs about alcoholism are usually much more about the sensationalization of drunken episodes than the encouraging and inspiring journeys of sobriety. For many, simply hearing one got sober and has stayed sober for X amount of years is inspiring enough. The spiritual program of the twelve steps is too touchy for many, especially because of the use of the word “God”. Communicating the “experience” of alcoholism is easy. The “strength” and the “hope” of recovery is an ongoing life experience, one that is often hard to put into words. That stuff, however, is the good stuff and the stuff that needs to be heard by people who are dying.

Blogger Heather Mallick writes that it’s strange that recovering authors don’t write about sobriety. She notes that “the reason nobody talks about sobriety is that it has no narrative, in the sense that one unmedicated event happens after another, which is just life but with your protective skin removed.”

Indeed, sobriety is less than thrilling compared to the often extreme adventure of active addiction. However, it is those small victories of daily life, the adventures which are made in sobriety, that are also in need of being expressed. Grocery shopping alone without having a panic attack for the first time is a tremendous accomplishment. Making amends and healing hurt relationships, going years on end without a drink…these are things that are hard to express and are only understood by others in recovery.

“Don’t leave before the miracle happens” is an infamous recovery quip. If those miracles could be written about more articulately, maybe more people would be interested in getting sober.